Power supply has to improve within six months or discoms will have to pay consumers on hourly basis of outage
GN Bureau | June 1, 2016
In wake of frequent power cuts and power outages, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) took out a notification on Monday addressing power companies to compensate consumers for outages extending up to two hours. The default period will be considered from the time someone registers a complaint till the time supply is restored.
The compensation amount can range from Rs 25 to Rs 100 per hour and the Delhi Electricity Supply Code and Performance Standard regulations will become effective immediately, the notification read.
Following this, Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday issued a warning to distribution companies to improve power supply within six months or end up paying consumers on hourly basis of outage.
“For now, we have asked discoms to compensate consumers for unscheduled power cuts extending up to two hours. But after six months, if there is no improvement in their power supply network, government will bring it down to one hour,” he said.
In his warning, Kejriwal said that the companies will be held "accountable" even if there is outage for an hour and so that Delhiites will benefit from the privatisation of the power sector.
The Aam Aadmi Party tweeted on Tuesday:
Delhi Gov issues policy direction to DERC for compensation be paid to consumer by DISCOMs for unscheduled power-cuts pic.twitter.com/g8VL4nuIj4— Aam Aadmi Party- AAP (@AamAadmiParty) May 31, 2016
“Why electricity wires and transfers get damaged only in Delhi? Why are there no such incidents in Washington, London and New York?” asked Kejriwal.
“We will also make Delhi a world-class city and for this, the accountability of discoms should be fixed for power outages,” he added.
The authorities have also urged people to stop using non-important power consuming appliances during peak hours to meet the demand.
Last week, the Delhi government had directed DERC, under section 108 of the Electricity Act, to penalise the companies for frequent power cuts.
Power minister Satyender Jain had also chaired a meeting with the distribution companies and directed them to immediately deploy additional teams to minimise the complaints of electricity consumers.
The Asian Age reported that the discoms, pointed out that the DERC order is impractical and the upgradation of the entire infrastructure is a long-winding process to fix accountability. “The power network will have to be revamped to determine the reason for the outages — whether it is on account of distribution, transmission or generation failure or the consumer’s own installation failure. Who will determine whether the prescribed timelines have been exceeded or not in borderline cases and the cases where consumers do not want to seek compensation. This is particularly so with regard to power supply related complaints where frivolous complaints cannot be ruled out,” a discom official said.
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